Straight classmates exclude lesbian student from private prom
A lesbian student whose prom was cancelled after she asked to arrive with her girlfriend has been barred from attending a private event by her classmates.
Constance McMillen has not been invited to a private event organised by parents and other students at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Mississippi.
The 18-year-old said she had been blamed by others at the school for “ruining” their prom.
When she took legal action against the school’s restrictions, it decided to cancel the entire event rather than let her wear a tux and arrive with her girlfriend.
She then filed a lawsuit against the school with the American Civil Liberties Union. A hearing is to be held today. The student also has the support of her parents.
Her story has been picked up around the world, making her an unintentional gay rights heroine.
Ms McMillen appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show on Friday, where the lesbian presenter told her: “When I was your age I never would have had the strength to do what you are doing.”
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The student said: “We could go, but not like as a date. I was like, ‘I’m not going to go to prom and pretend I’m not gay’.”
She added: “There’s a few people that are supportive but the majority of people are angry because I guess they feel I’m the one that caused the prom to get cancelled.”
Parents at the school have organised to hold a private prom at a furniture shop in nearby Tupelo, as the school suggested. Ms McMillen has not been invited.
Her attorney at the ACLU, Christine Sun, said: “Constance has not been invited, so it is clear to me that what is happening is that the school has encouraged a private prom that is not open to all the students.
“That’s what Constance is fighting for – a prom where everyone can go.”
Ms McMillen was presented with a $30,000 (£19,900) scholarship cheque on the Ellen DeGeneres show by website Tonic, which is trying to raise funds to put on an inclusive prom for all students at the school.